Lenovo Ideapad Z51 Laptop Review - An above average laptop with high end specifications and fast performance






Lenovo Ideapad Z51 Laptop Review - An above average laptop with high end specifications and fast performance

























Lenovo is one of the biggest market players when it comes to portable devices like mobiles, tablets and laptops. Their Yoga series of tablets and Ideapad series of laptops seem to have garnered a fair market share particularly due to the quality they offer at affordable prices. Today, we have Lenovo's Ideapad Z51-70 (80K60021IN) laptop with us for review. The laptop is available at a price of around Rs. 55,000 at various online retailers at the time of writing this review. More on the pricing a little later. So lets jump right into the review.

Let us start by taking a look at the specifications of the laptop.

Specifications of Lenovo Ideapad Z51-70 (80K60021IN) laptop:

Model: Z51-70 (80K60021IN)
Dimensions(WxHxD): 384 x 265 x 24.6  mm
Colors: Black
Weight: 2.3 Kg
Display: Full HD TN GL(Slim) Display, 1920 x 1080 pixels, 15.6 inches, LED, No Touchscreen
Processor: Intel Core i5-5200U clocked at 2.2 GHz
Graphic Processor: AMD TROPO XT2
RAM: 8 GB DDR3 1600 MHz, 2 DIMM Memory Slots, Expandable to 16 GB
Graphics Memory: 4 GB
HDD: 1 TB SATA, 5400 RPM
SSD: 8 GB
OS: Windows 8.1 64-bit
Battery: 4 Cell Li-Ion, 4 hours running time
Power Supply: 41 W AC Adapter W
Wi-Fi: Wireless LAN 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth: Version 4.0
USB 2.0 slots: 1
USB 3.0 slots: 2
HDMI Ports: 1
Digital Media Reader: Yes
Web-cam: 1.0 MP, 720p HD Video recording
Secondary cam(Rear-facing): No
Headphone Jack: Yes
Microphone Jack: Yes
Other Networking Options: 1 DC-in
Audio Solution: HD Audio Solution
Speakers: 2 x 2.5 W JBL stereo speakers
In-built Microphone: Integrated Array Microphone
Sound Technologies: Dolby DS 1.0 Home Theater
Optical Drive: 9.0MM Super Multi (Tray In)
Pointing device: Touchpad with Multi-touch Gesture support
Keyboard: Backlit AccuType keyboard
Fingerprint scanner: No
Warranty: 1 Year

Unboxing and Contents

The laptop comes in a particularly thin but large cardboard box. The device is cushioned with thermocol pieces to protect it from damage during transit. Inside the box, you will find the laptop, charger, charging cable and some documentation. We liked the fact that the laptop was protected with cushioning around it.

Lenovo Ideapad Z51 Laptop Review - An above average laptop with high end specifications and fast performance




























Design and Build Quality

The first thing you'll notice as soon as you pick up the device is that its on a heavier side which would dampen its portability quite a bit. This would be useful more or less like a desktop machine with limited amount of portability due to its large dimensions and particularly heavy weight. The laptop is black in color with a plastic top and bottom. The top surface i.e. the back of the display has the 'lenovo' tag and is glossy but sadly, it is a fingerprint magnet too. We can see our fingerprints even after just closing the laptop lid a couple of times. The bottom surface is a sort of smooth textured plastic. We are slightly confused with the fact that the laptop is so heavy without the use of metal on its external chassis which makes us believe the weight is solely carried by internal parts.

As we open the laptop, the area around the keyboard and the display bezel seem to be made out of some metal alloy. The inside of the laptop is stark silver in color providing contrast to the otherwise normal looking laptop. The laptop does not have a premium appearance on the outside but we find it good looking once opened. There is a big and bright 15.6 inch display to boot that we would talk about a little later.

Lenovo Ideapad Z51 Laptop Review - An above average laptop with high end specifications and fast performance
Lenovo Ideapad Z51 Laptop Review - An above average laptop with high end specifications and fast performance

Display

The Lenovo Ideapad Z51 display is large and bright. The LED backlight is very strong thus providing an immersive experience to the eyes. However, for an LED display, the contrast ratios are slightly on the lower side. Even the colors are very slightly washed out. For someone who has been using Retina display for a long time, this might end up being a deal breaker and we would definitely have liked Lenovo to make the display with sharper colors. It just seems that the color gamut used in the display is on the lower end of the spectrum. We would call this display an average one, something which Lenovo can most definitely improve upon.

Keyboard and Trackpad

The laptop has uniquely shaped keys with the bottom edges being curved and the remaining edges squarish. We still did not have any difficulty using the keyboard for the limited amount of time we used the laptop for. The keys provide decent feedback and throw but the sound produced from the springs underneath the keys seems to be a bit suppressed. For people who like to bang their keyboards hard just for the mere pleasure of the throw and sound that the springs make, this might make them a little uncomfortable, however we enjoyed using this keyboard and were pretty comfortable with it.

There is a large sized trackpad below the keyboard. The trackpad is fairly responsive. Due to the large size, its easy to use as well and you won't find yourself searching for trackpad space while moving from one edge of the display to the other. There is no demarcation between left and right trackpad keys though which you might need to get accustomed to.

Lenovo Ideapad Z51 Laptop Review - An above average laptop with high end specifications and fast performance





























Camera, Multimedia and Connectivity

The laptop has an inbuilt 1 MP webcam which can record HD video thus allowing for some amazing video chat experiences, specially due to the large sized screen. The laptop also has 1 TB hard disk which would be more than enough for most users, even for those who stack up large number of video files and games on their machines. It also has an integrated 8 GB SSD which should smoothen out running of the operating system. We are very impressed by the sound that the speakers of this laptop make. Its loud and crisp and makes you feel right at the center of the action whenever you are playing a movie or a game. This was bound to happen since the laptop is equipped with JBL stereo speakers delivering Dolby digital sound. You would surely feel like a home theater experience watching movies or playing games on this laptop. The laptop comes with all the connectivity features as well like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and an HDMI port. Moreover, it houses three USB ports out of which two are USB 3 and one is a USB 2. A digital media card reader gives consumers additional connectivity and multimedia options.

Operating System and Software

Lenovo Ideapad Z51 features the latest 64-bit version of Windows 8.1 out of the box and though we haven't been told so, there should be no reason it is not upgradeable to Windows 10 either. Along with the usual software that is ported with Windows 8.1, Lenovo has bundled a few software from its own side as well like PhoneCompanion, PhotoMasterImport, PowerDVD10 etc. Though you would surely be using substitutes for the functionality these software provide, at times these can come to your rescue as well. We did not spend much time on these software since we feel lesser the bloatware, the better a laptop performs. However, we are pleased that Lenovo has not gone over the board and has bundled only a couple of software from its own side. We really would not go into details of Windows 8.1 in this review as its an entirely separate review in itself and with Windows 10 having been launched a little earlier, we would be seeing more and more upgrades as time passes by.

Performance

This laptop is powered by a strong 2.2 GHz Intel Core i5-5200U processor. There is ample amount of RAM with 8 GB and the video memory of the graphics card is impressively high at 4 GB. There is absolutely no lag on the machine with normal routine tasks. The ultra powerful processor along with the large amount of RAM provides a fine grained performance across all use cases. Multitasking is no problem with this laptop and even though, it is not marketed as a gaming machine, having 4 GB of video graphics memory would prove to be a boon for many games out there. Lenovo seems to have optimised the laptop for Windows 8.1 as we did not find any lag with the machine whatsoever with whatever tasks we performed on it. We would also say that a machine with 4 GB graphics memory could easily have been marketed like a gaming machine too, however Lenovo did not do that and has promoted it as a normal day to day laptop. This laptop's performance is as smooth as it can get for the specifications it has.

Battery

The laptop runs on 4 Cell Li-Ion battery and comes with 41W AC adapter. To check for battery time, we charged the battery to 100% and then started using the laptop in a moderate manner. We used it for normal day to day browsing, watching a few videos on Youtube and using a few other software. The laptop was used like a normal user would use his/her laptop and nothing too fancy or heavy was performed. We saw that we could use the laptop for 3.5 hours. With heavy gaming or aggressive usage of photo or video editors, this mark would probably go down to 2.5 to 3 hours. But getting this amount of battery time from a laptop that boasts of such high specifications is impressive in itself.

Rating

3.5 stars out of 5

Bottomline and Verdict

Lenovo Ideapad Z51 is a powerful laptop with high end specifications. Its a fast machine with decent looks and a strong processor. The performance throughput is fast and the home theater like multimedia capabilities, specially sound, would appeal to many users. There is enough storage space and a whole deal of connectivity options available too. However, we feel that Lenovo could have created a slightly better display with more natural colors and a wider dynamic range. They can definitely improve upon the external appearance of the laptop too and last but not the least, this could have easily been the numero uno laptop provided it was lighter in weight and did not cost as much.  That would have added a much needed portability factor to this laptop. Moreover, this is an expensive machine but then, high end specifications do come for a price tag, don't they!

That's it for our review of Lenovo Ideapad Z51-70 (80K60021IN). Do hit the 'like' button on our Facebook page if you liked the review to keep yourself updated of latest technology news, reviews and tweaks. If you have any suggestions regarding the review or the device, feel free to leave us a comment below. Stay tuned since we have many more reviews coming up in the near future.


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